Lake Lafayette Pollution Study Results Released

Don't let the scenic shores and peaceful waters of Lake Lafayette fool you; scientists say underneath the lily pads lies lots of pollution, and it's the small creeks like the one flowing into the north end of the lake causing the problem.

Wade Harbaugh, a Tallahassee resident, says, "I've noticed some of the streams have been getting a little cloudy, so if people could just quit using all those fertilizers and pesticides, I think we'd be doing better."

Harbaugh is half right. A scientific study revealed there was an excess of phosphorous, a nutrient found in fertilizers. There are lots of waterways that flow into Lake Lafayette and with each, one pollution flows. Thanks to this study, the county knows exactly what is causing the pollution and has a goal to clean it up.

Theresa B. Heiker, Stormwater Management Coordinator, says, "We're definitely ahead of the country in establishing goals for our water, but if you're going to have those goals you need to meet them, and this gives us the goal for meeting that water quality so that we can continue to have healthy systems."

Heiker says the Environmental Protection Agency will help Leon County develop and implement the best plan, then Lake Lafayette will truly be as beautiful as it seems on the surface.

Leon County commissioners will discuss plans to clean up the upper Lake Lafayette Tuesday, January 11.